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Aside from things like preventing hull damage in a space battle you might loose, or trying to get the Coming in for my Pacifism run! achievement, is there ever any benefit or "good outcome" from choosing "do not attack" or other "do nothing" options like:

  • Explore the asteroid field? Too dangerous. We'll just wait for the FTL to charge.
  • Explore the nearby system with your impulse engines? Stay near the beacon.
  • You spot a rebel ship in the nebula ahead and stay off their radar. Try to engage? Stay hidden.
  • Try to help the damaged Federation ship? Keep your position, they can handle themselves.
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    There is a full list of all random encounters on the wiki, but I don't have the patience to look through each and every one of them for the answer. So I'm hoping someone knows of at least one such encounter from experience. – IQAndreas Dec 21 '13 at 4:01
  • Like you said, if you 'do nothing' you won't risk the chance of your ship being damaged for no gain in those encounters. I think of it more like, if my ship is down to 2-3 bars of health, its safer to do nothing until I can find a place to repair it than to engage. – l I Dec 21 '13 at 12:42
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    Benefit is quite relative to the amount of risk you are willing to take. Personally once I got accustomed to the game, I almost never ran away, because I could overcome the challenges and get more fuel, missiles, drones, scrap and a training opportunity for my team. – Doktoro Reichard Dec 21 '13 at 19:25
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The "Leave it alone" / "Do nothing" option generally avoids the chance of combat encounter. There are the occasional downsides to avoiding such encounters are there are frequently third options available (such as "Purchase an Unknown Weapon" for the "Black Market Weapon Trader" encounter - which can also lead to combat) however the upside is that if your ship is in a bad state, "Leave it alone" style options will normally allow you to move from the current node without the potential for more destruction occurring.

Of course, there are examples where even selecting the "Leave it alone" style option will still result in combat, for example against "The Black Raven" encounter, where refusing to duel The Black Raven will still result in you duelling.

Here are some examples of some of the random encounters and what their "Leave it alone" option avoids;

  • Ancient Device - Leave it alone avoids an encounter with a Rock ship
  • Black Market Weapon Trader - Ignore it avoids an encounter with ha pirate ship but also ignores the chance for a random weapon
  • Black Raven - Decline has the same effect as Accept and you will still have to duel
  • Bump Hulls with a Mantis Ship - *This place is dangerous enough. Move on" avoids combat with a Mantis ship
  • Single Life Form on Moon - Ignore the Signal prevents one of many outcomes from hull damage to gaining a crew member
  • Civilian Ship Chased By A Pirate - Stay out of it avoids combat with a pirate ship
  • Friendly ship out of fuel - Apologise, with them luck and continue on results in you missing out on a positive outcome (free weapon, map for current sector, etc)
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    But are there any random events which do provide a "secret bonus" (not just avoiding bad things) if you choose the "do nothing" route? I have never turned down a fight, so I fear if I ever do come across such an event, I would never know about the secret. – IQAndreas Dec 23 '13 at 16:15
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    No - none with secret events when you do nothing, most of the more "secret" outcomes are generally the blue text options that require a crew member of a particular species. There are a couple of positive events as a result of not clicking "Do nothing", where the positive event is the only other outcome (for example Friendly Ship Out Of Fuel) – kalina Dec 23 '13 at 16:22
  • Taking the active option in "Friendly ship out of fuel" does cause you to lose a bit of fuel - if it takes all (or nearly all) your fuel, it may not be worth it. – Brilliand Apr 10 '14 at 17:23
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I have found one such such case so far, the Unarmed Zoltan Transport encounter:

An unarmed Zoltan transport vessel is slowly making its way toward the beacon here. They hail: "This is a Zoltan peace envoy. We carry no weapons or shielding and rely on the mercy of others to communicate our message."

  1. Attack them.
  2. Hear them out.
  3. Leave.

Hearing them out instead of attacking them does bring a benefit. However, seeing as it also has the "Leave" option, I would consider that the "do nothing" option (and in this case, choosing it brings no benefit at all).

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It's useful for when you're in trouble and trying to reach a specific haven. FTL, like most roguelikes, is a game that will casually murder you even at the top of your game. When you're limping along and don't have the armor, shields, weapons, ammo, or crew to spare it can be a very bad idea to get involved.

For example, if you have an Engi ship with just a single crew member, sending him into danger (such as the fire rescue) is a great way get ganked and lose. Or, if your ship is down to 1 bar of health, it might be a good idea to remotely deactivate those drones instead of fighting them, even if the potential reward is great.

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